Chris Thachuk

Assistant Professor

University of Washington


I am an Assistant Professor in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering at the University of Washington. My research focuses on applying principles from computer science and engineering to create programmable matter at the nanoscale with bio-molecules such as DNA. Prior to UW, I was a Senior Postdoctoral Researcher at Caltech, working with Erik Winfree, a postdoc at Oxford Computer Science with Marta Kwiatkowska and a James Martin Fellow at the Institute for the Future of Computing, Oxford. I received my PhD in Computer Science from UBC in 2013, advised by Anne Condon. Much of my computations now happen in a test tube.


  • DNA computing & molecular programming
  • Synthetic biology
  • Bioinformatics
  • Algorithm & data structure design
  • Scientific software development


  • PhD in Computer Science, 2013

    University of British Columbia

  • MSc in Computer Science & Bioinformatics, 2007

    Simon Fraser University & CIHR/MSFHR Bioinformatics Training Program for Health Research

  • BCS in Computer Science, 2005

    University of Windsor

Academic Positions


Assistant Professor

University of Washington

Aug 2020 – Present Seattle, Washington, USA

Senior Postdoctoral Fellow

California Institute of Technology

Feb 2014 – Jul 2020 Pasadena, California, USA

Postdoctoral Research Assistant & James Martin Fellow

University Oxford

Oct 2012 – Jan 2014 Oxford, UK

Recent & Upcoming Talks

A fast, robust and reconfigurable molecular circuit breadboard

Building fast, robust molecular circuits used to be difficult. Not anymore.

2018 Foundations of Nanoscience invited talk

The promise of molecular programming lies in its ability to not only process information autonomously, but to do so in a biochemical …

Recent Publications


  • Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, Box 352355, Seattle, WA 98195-2355
  • Locate the Bill & Melinda Gates Center. My office is CSE2 336.